September 21, 2000 - Town and Country Hotel - San Diego

The September 2000 meeting was held at the Town and Country Hotel and was opened by WSATI President Gary Labb. Gary welcomed everyone and asked Emile Maassen (Retired AAA) to lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Following that, Gary introduced the WSATI Board of Directors, recognized Past Presidents including Skip Davidson (President 1991) and started the group introductions. There was a good turnout by the San Diego Police Department, S.D. Sheriff’s Department and CHP Border Division, noticeably missing were the representatives of the RATT team. Hopefully, everyone is aware of the meeting dates and locations and are taking advantage of our great website, which carries all the latest WSATI details, along with other great information resources.

Gary then updated the group on next month’s WSATI Conference in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The golf tournament will have shuttle service available, contact James Lamberto for additional details. 

Bill Lovold then updated everyone with information on next year’s conference in Palm Springs (September 30 through October 3, 2001) at the Doral Resort.  It’s never too early to make your reservations, so reserve early and plan to attend. Rooms will be $84.00 a night and we are planning on having POST credit and reimbursement for those attending the conference.  The State Farm Insurance Company will sponsor the golf tournament, many thanks to them for assuming that responsibility. 

Gary had Diana Rummel from the Construction Industry’s, Crime Prevention Program of Southern California (CPP) update the group on outstanding stolen equipment. Diana seemed very pleased with recent and numerous equipment recoveries.  Diana also spoke about the Fifth Annual “Hooters Hummer” Award. This award will be presented at the November WSATI Meeting. To qualify for consideration of this worthy award, investigators/detectives should submit a detailed outline of their construction equipment related activities to the Board of Directors, Crime Prevention Program of Southern California, 10945 South Street, Suite 305, Cerritos, Ca. 90704-5350, telephone number (562) 860-9006.

Gary introduced the guest speaker for this meeting, retired San Diego Firefighter, Steve MacKaig.  Steve is now an arson investigator-court qualified expert in the field of vehicle arson fraud. Steve provided an outline on the anatomy of vehicle arson and the how-to’s of an arson investigation. Steve spoke on the motives for vehicle arson, which includes financial hardship, lease violations (related to wear/tear and excessive mileage), divorce, lemon law problems and accident cover-up.  Steve spoke on what he looks for in arson cases and where evidence can show an ‘accidental fire’ was truly arson.  MacKaig is an enlightening speaker and very knowledgeable in his field.  You can contact Steve MacKaig at (619) 579-1772 or at www.mackaig.com.

The group then broke for a short lunch and reconvened for discussions of current investigations and crime trends. 

Gary asked if there were any nominations for the ‘Bent Screwdriver’.  Much to his chagrin, immediately after requesting names, Gary was nominated for a mistake in the room and lunch reservations of this meeting at the Town and Country Hotel.  Terry Cramer (Orange County S.D.) was quick to second Gary’s nomination, which was made by Dave Dempsey (NICB). Both Terry and Dave were Past Presidents of WSATI and were both well aware of what happened and quick to call attention to Gary’s oversight. Gary accepted the ‘Award’ without much resistance, Lou Koven was glad as he did not have to lug it around until the next meeting.  The meeting concluded shortly thereafter.

Hope to see many of you at the Conference, October 2nd in Lake Tahoe, there is still space available, see the website for details . The next WSATI Meeting will be at Luminaria’s Restaurant, 3500 Ramona Blvd in Monterey Park, (323) 268-4177 on Thursday November 16, 2000 at 10:00 a.m. The Automobile Club of Southern California will sponsor the meeting.  There will be the nomination and election of the year 2001 Board members.  Anyone who would like to become a Board member or knows of someone who would like to, is encouraged to attend.


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